One of the first responsibilities of BK Gupta, the new commissioner of Delhi Police, would be to ensure that no tobacco products are sold within 100 yards of schools, colleges and other educational institutions in the Capital.
The Delhi High Court has directed him to strictly implement the ban, under the provision in Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 (COPTA), on such sales.
A bench of chief justice Dipak Misra and Manmohan was hearing a public interest litigation filed by the World Lung Foundation (South Asia) which complained that sale of tobacco products such as cigarettes, pan and gutka continued near schools, colleges and hospitals despite the ban.
Along with the petition, they attached a number of photographs of such outlets.
The petition stated that the police and health authorities have turned a blind eye despite the Sec 6 of the COPTA, specifically banning such sale and ordering prosecution of the violators.
The bench asked Jatan Singh, the standing counsel for the Centre, to ensure that the Delhi Police commissioner strictly enforces the ban on sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of any educational institution and hospitals.
“Certain areas in and around schools and colleges of the Delhi University continue to be smoking hubs. Survey of a total of 83 colleges and schools by us in September 2010 showed tobacco products continue to be sold near the educational institutions,” stated the PIL.
The World Lung Foundation (WLF) said it was essential to ensure that tobacco products were not sold within at least 100 yards radius so that “youth is not lured by easy accessibility of tobacco”.